Those hapless bureaucrats at the FA might not be too keen on remembering our national heroes, but most football fans surely think differently.
Once again, as with the question of admission prices and overpaid celebrities and the much-missed mudbath, the self-appointed guardians of our game are hopelessly out of touch with the feelings of the people they claim to represent.
Isn’t it just a little bit pathetic, the FA kowtowing to the discredited head of a discredited international football organisation – FIFA’s dirty millions doubtless foremost in their thoughts – and agreeing to his ruling that England players shouldn’t be allowed to wear poppies on their shirts against Spain on Saturday?
It wasn’t enough for the FA to merely question FIFA’s ruling that ‘political symbols’ aren’t allowed on kit. The appeal was always going to be turned down in the face of logic, reason and respect to the war dead of all nations.
Why should we take heed of the moral judgments of a morally bankrupt organisation? For once, voices from all sides are raised in unison:
This from the Daily Mail: “President Sepp Blatter has been at odds with the English FA after it raised questions about his running of the organisation. Campaigners have called on the England players to defy the ruling.”
This from The Mirror “Instead of denying the FA the opportunity to pay homage to the millions, from all countries, who have laid down their lives, the petty-minded bureaucrats in Switzerland said that a “political” gesture was unacceptable. It’s ridiculous and short-sighted but FA chiefs, unwilling to further antagonise Blatter, felt they had to back down.”
Here’s Adam Black’s medal from the Great War, together with a pair of his football boots from the 1920s.
When Adam joined Leicester City after WWI he came with an impeccable record for teamwork, and a medal. He’d served as a corporal in the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, where his outstanding bravery amid the hellish mud, mustard gas and bullets saw him awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal. His citation tells the horrific tale of a unit on his flank being bombed out of their trenches, which were then captured – until Black immediately led his men in with firebombs, rifles and bayonets to save the day.
Black played more League games than any Leicester player in history (528) during his 16 years at Filbert Street, during which time City finished runners-up in League Division One – their highest ever finish.
We hardly need to tell you where we’d like to see Adam’s boot in relation to the outgoing FA dabblers – or what we believe the opportunist moneymen aren’t fit to lick.
With thanks to City’s official historian, John Hutchinson.